Nuclear power.. but not existing commercial designs.

I think you should take a serious look into molten-salt nuclear reactors for power generation. I know, "nuclear.. aaaaaaaaaaaaa!", but like I said, take a serious look at the technology. Most MSR designs are not like the existing pressurized water/solid fuel reactors. MSRs simply can't melt down, they don’t require huge containment structures, are "walk-away" safe, and produce NO long-lived waste. They don't need access to large amounts of water from the environment for cooling either, and can thus be used as load-following ”baseline" power in a distributed system that includes wind and solar even in arid regions like the mid- and southwest regions of the US. Development risk/cost should also be low, as demonstration molten-salt reactors have already been built in the 50s and 60s. China is trying to build a commercial molten-salt reactor by 2020 using that technology. Finally, the thorium fuel is extremely common - 3x more common than uranium found naturally, and 400x more common than the uranium-235 used for power generation. It does not require the costly enrichment or processing that uranium does. It is also available worldwide, so no geopolitical risk or trade issues. We could satisfy all of our domestic energy needs domestically, as could most other countries, including India, China, and Europe. In short, I think MSRs would be quite useful achieving some of the Green's other, quite laudable goals, such as electrification of transportation and low-carbon, low emissions energy production, including for those in the "3rd world" economies. By the way, I do agree 100% with phasing out and decommissioning all existing nuclear power generation that is based on pressurized water/solid fuel technology. Clearly that technology has intrinsic design flaws and demonstrated safety issues and is unsuitable for large-scale commercial power generation. This would be D.2 in your party platform. I would simply reword that statement to say something like, “The Green Party calls for the early retirement of EXISTING nuclear power reactors as soon as possible (in no more than five years), and for a phase-out of other technologies that use or produce nuclear waste.” This would leave the door open for other technologies that don’t produce nuclear waste. You might also want to take out the "use" in "use or produce" at the end there. MSRs can be designed to destroy existing spent nuclear fuel from conventional reactors. This is a large part of the nuclear waste equation, and allowing MSRs to "use" this waste to generate power while destroying it for good would be a Really Good Thing.


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